Model Work Health and Safety Regulations and Codes of Practice Public  Comment
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Model Work Health and Safety Regulations and Codes of Practice Public Comment

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GLASS provides information & referrals on lead poisoning & lead contamination prevention & management, with the goal of eliminating lead poisoning globally & protecting the environment from lead. GLASS is run by The LEAD Group Incorporated global lead advice ABN 25 819 463 114 & support service TH4 April 2011 Safe Work Australia 220 Northbourne Avenue Braddon ACT 2601 Also web-published by Safe Work Australia at http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/Legislation/PublicComment/Documents/Model%20work%20health%20and%20safety%20public%20comment%202010/Public%20submissions%20T/1241%20The%20Lead%20Education%20and%20Abatement%20Design%20(LEAD)%20Group%20Incorporated.pdf and http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/Legislation/PublicComment/Documents/Model%20work%20health%20and%20safety%20public%20comment%202010/Public%20submissions%20T/1241%20The%20Lead%20Education%20and%20Abatement%20Design%20(LEAD)%20Group%20Incorporated.rtf RE: Model Work Health and Safety Regulations and Codes of Practice Public Comment Response Form submitted by Elizabeth O’Brien Dear Safe Work Australia, Part 7.2 Inorganic lead 7.2.1(h) should be changed from: machine sanding or buffing surfaces coated with paint containing more than 1% by dry weight of lead metal to: machine sanding or buffing surfaces coated with paint containing more than 0.25% by dry weight of lead metal as, according to lead assessor Graeme Waller, it is possible to create soil and dust wipe lead concentrations ...

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Reads 29
Language English
global lead advice
& support service
The LEAD Group Inc. PO Box 161 Summer Hill NSW Australia 2130
GLASS Phone: Freecall 1800 626 086; +61 2 9716 0132
Email:
www.lead.org.au/cu.html
Web:
www.lead.org.au
Model Work Health and Safety Regulations and Codes of Practice Public Comment
Page 1 of 5
GLASS provides information & referrals on lead poisoning & lead
contamination prevention & management, with the goal of
eliminating lead poisoning globally & protecting the environment
from lead. GLASS is run by The LEAD Group Incorporated
ABN 25 819 463 114
4
TH
April 2011
Safe Work Australia
220 Northbourne Avenue
Braddon ACT 2601
Also web-published by Safe Work Australia at
http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/Legislation/PublicComment/Documents/Model%20work%20health%20and%20
safety%20public%20comment%202010/Public%20submissions%20T/1241%20The%20Lead%20Education%20an
d%20Abatement%20Design%20(LEAD)%20Group%20Incorporated.pdf
and
http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/Legislation/PublicComment/Documents/Model%20work%20health%20and%20
safety%20public%20comment%202010/Public%20submissions%20T/1241%20The%20Lead%20Education%20an
d%20Abatement%20Design%20(LEAD)%20Group%20Incorporated.rtf
RE: Model Work Health and Safety Regulations and Codes of Practice Public Comment
Response Form submitted by
Elizabeth O’Brien
Dear Safe Work Australia,
Part 7.2 Inorganic lead
7.2.1(h) should be changed from:
machine sanding or buffing surfaces coated with paint containing more than 1% by dry weight of lead
metal
to:
machine sanding or buffing surfaces coated with paint containing more than 0.25% by dry weight of lead
metal
as, according to lead assessor Graeme Waller, it is possible to create soil and dust wipe lead concentrations which
exceed the clearance levels in “AS4361 Guide To Lead Paint Management”
- thus exposing the worker to liability
for site contamination - when the paint lead level exceeds 0.25%. AS4361 is long overdue for revision and the
clearance levels which cannot be achieved now if 1% lead paint is dry-sanded, will likely be made more stringent in
the revision. The Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons (SUSDP) limited the lead content of
residential paint to 0.25% as of 1992 whereas 1% lead in paint is the very outdated 1970 limit.
Similarly, the figure of 1% should be revised down to 0.25% in the following definitions:
7.2.1(i) a process by which electric arc, oxyacetylene, oxy gas, plasma arc or a flame is applied for
welding, cutting or cleaning, to the surface of metal coated with lead or paint containing more than 1%
by dry weight of lead metal;
And:
7.2.1
(m) spray painting with lead paint containing more than 1% by dry weight of elemental lead;
And:
7.2.1(o) using a power tool, including abrasive blasting and high pressure water jets, to remove a surface
coated with paint containing more than 1% by dry weight of lead metal and handling waste containing
lead resulting from the removal;
And:
7.2.1(r) foundry processes involving:
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The LEAD Group Incorporated
(i) melting or casting lead alloys containing more than 1% by weight of lead metal in which the
temperature of the molten material is more than 450°C;
or
(ii) dry machine grinding, discing, buffing or cutting by power tools lead alloys containing more than 1%
by weight of lead metal;
On the basis of my proposal regarding the blood lead level for removal from lead work, the percentage of lead in
the following definitions should be reduced down to one fifth of the level in the draft ie 10% instead of 50% and
1% instead of 5% in the following:
7.2.1
(l) hand grinding and finishing lead or alloys containing more than 50% by dry weight of lead metal;
7.2.1(n) melting lead metal or alloys containing more than 50% by weight of lead metal if the exposed
surface area of the molten material is more than 0·1 square metre and the temperature of the molten
material is not more than 450°C;
I propose that it is dangerous to assume that workers will be given good quality information on the
health impacts of lead or even on the pathways of lead exposure, so it would be far better for Safe Work
Australia to develop such information and then create a sub-clause within
7.2.8
(see below) which
requires that this specific information must be given to the worker. For instance, I have read even on
government OH&S websites that “lead is not absorbed through the skin” when, in fact
, lead IS absorbed
through the skin.
7.2.8 Duty to give information about health risks of lead risk work
(1) This regulation applies to a person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace if:
(a) the business or undertaking carries out a lead process at the workplace; and
(b) lead risk work is carried out in a lead process.
(2) The person must give the following information to a worker carrying out the lead risk work before
the worker first starts the work:
(a) the health risks and toxic effects as
sociated with exposure to lead…
As sub-contractors have reported to me that they have suffered an astronomical increase in their blood lead level
within one week (in one striking case, within two days) of starting work which exposed them to lead dust or fumes,
I propose that
month
be changed to
week
in the following:
7.2.9 Duty to provide health surveillance before first starting lead risk work
(1) A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must arrange for a worker to
undertake a medical examination and biological monitoring:
(a) before the worker first starts lead risk work for the person; and
(b) one month after the worker first starts lead risk work for the person.
Because there are so many factors affecting the rate of absorption of lead in different individuals and the leaching
of lead from their bones back into the bloodstream over time, the frequency of retesting should be reduced
similarly by changing
month
to
week
in the following and by changing
6 weeks
to
10 days
:
7.2.12 Frequency of biological monitoring
(1) A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must arrange for biological monitoring
under the supervision of a medical practitioner of each worker who carries out lead risk work for the
person to be carried out at the following times:
(a) for females not of reproductive capacity and males:
(i) 6 months after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of less than 30
μg/dL (1.45 μmol/L); or
(ii) 3 months after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of 30μg/dL (1.45μmol/L) or more but less than 40μg/dL (1.93μmol/L); or
Model Work Health and Safety Regulations and Codes of Practice Public Comment
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The LEAD Group Incorporated
(iii) 6 weeks after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of 40
μg/dL (1.93 μmol/L) or more;
(b) for females of reproductive capacity:
(i) 3 months after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of less than 10
μg/dL (0.48 μmol/L); or
(ii) 6 weeks after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of 10
μg/dL (0.48 μmol/L) or more.
In 1993 the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) set
10
μg/dL (2.42 μmol/L)
as the goal
blood lead level which all Australian children and adults should be below. In 1994, the National Standard
For The Control Of Inorganic Lead At Work - National Code Of Practice For The Control And Safe Use Of
Inorganic Lead At Work, apparently set
50
μg/dL (2.42 μmol/L
)
as the removal-from-work level
at
five
times the community blood lead limit, on the basis that lead work could not be carried out economically
unless workers were permitted to have
five times
the acceptable blood lead level.
My reasoning for
making
10
μg/dL (2.42 μmol/L)
the new blood lead level which should never be exceeded at work is that,
The LEAD Group has proposed
2
μg/dL (0.01 μmol/L)
to the NHMRC as the new goal which all Australian
children and adults should be below, and
10
μg/dL (2.42 μmol/L)
is
five times
the new “acceptable”
level. The justification for why adult blood lead levels should only be regarded as “acceptable” if they are
below
2
μg/dL (0.01 μmol/L)
can be found at
www.lead.org.au/fs/Dangers_of_BPb_Level_Above_2ug_Adults_20101202.pdf
Therefore, my proposal is that all the blood lead
“triggers” should be reduced to one
-fifth of the proposed levels
and that sex discrimination be removed from the regulation, thus resulting in the following
replacement
for the
above text:
7.2.12 Frequency of biological monitoring
(1) A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must arrange for biological monitoring
under the supervision of a medical practitioner of each worker who carries out lead risk work for the
person to be carried out at the following times:
(a) for females
and males
not of reproductive capacity:
(i)
6 weeks
after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of less than
6
μg/dL (0.29 μmol/L)
; or
(ii)
3 weeks
after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of
6
μg/dL (0.29 μmol/L)
or more but less than
8
μg/dL (0.39 μmol/L)
; or
(iii)
10 days
after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of
8
μg/dL (0.39 μmol/L)
or more;
(b) for females
and males
of reproductive capacity:
(i)
3 weeks
after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of less than
2
μg/dL (0.
10
μmol/L)
; or
(ii)
10 days
after the last biological monitoring of the worker if the last monitoring shows a blood lead
level of
2
μg/dL (0.10 μmol/L)
; or more.
Similarly, in place of the
current
proposals:
7.2.14 Removal of worker from lead risk work
(1) A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must immediately remove a worker
from carrying out lead risk work if:
(a) biological monitoring of the worker shows that the worker's blood lead level is, or is more than:
(i) for females not of reproductive capacity and males
50
μg/dL (2.42 μmol/L); or
Model Work Health and Safety Regulations and Codes of Practice Public Comment
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The LEAD Group Incorporated
(ii) for females of reproductive capacity
20
μg/dL (0.97 μmol/L); or
(iii) for females who are pregnant or breastfeeding
15
μg/dL (0.72 μmol/L);
in order to remove sex discrimination and achieve lower lifetime lead body burdens, the
replacement
text should be:
7.2.14 Removal of worker from lead risk work
(1) A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must immediately remove a worker
from carrying out lead risk work if:
(a) biological monitoring of the worker shows that the worker's blood lead level is, or is more than:
(i) for females
and males
not of reproductive capacity
10
μg/dL (
0.48
μmol/L)
; or
(ii) for females
and males
of reproductive capacity
4
μg/dL (0.
19
μmol/L)
; or
(iii) for females who are pregnant or breastfeeding
3
μg/dL (0.
14
μmol/L)
;
Similarly, the following
current
text:
7.2.16 Return to lead risk work after removal
(3) The person conducting the business or undertaking must ensure that the worker does not return to
carrying out lead risk work until:
(a) the worker's blood lead level is less than:
(i) for females not of reproductive capacity and males
40
μg/dL
(1.93
μmol/L); or
(ii) for females of reproductive capacity
10
μg/dL (0.48 μmol/L);
Should be
replaced
by:
(3) The person conducting the business or undertaking must ensure that the worker does not return to
carrying out lead risk work until:
(a) the worker's blood lead level is less than:
(i) for females
and males
not of reproductive capacity
8
μg/dL (0.39 μmol/L)
; or
(ii) for females
and males
of reproductive capacity
2
μg/dL (0.10 μmol/L)
;
As the government needs to take a much larger role in ensuring a person conducting a business or undertaking at
a workplace
controls
lead exposures in the workplace, in place of the following text:
7.2.17 Information to go to regulator
(1) A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must give written notice to the
regulator if a worker at the workplace shows symptoms or signs of lead poisoning.
(2) A notice under subregulation (1) must not identify the worker.
There should be the following
replacement
text:
7.2.17 Information to go to regulator and required action by regulator
(1) A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must give written notice to the NATA
accredited laboratory where blood lead analysis of the workers is carried out, as to the nature and
duration of the lead work being undertaken by the worker,
and the workers’ name,
so that the
laboratory can forward that information, along with
all
blood lead results, to a central database
operated by the regulator and subject to Privacy laws.
(2) A notice under subregulation (1) must be followed up by the regulator if the blood lead level exceeds
the levels listed under clause
7.2.12
above and the worker must be notified when he or she achieves
80% (and again at 90% and 100%) of the limits to working-life exposure to lead listed under clause
7.2.24
below.
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The LEAD Group Incorporated
(3) Follow-up by the regulator must include analysis of trends by lead process, online reporting of mean
and range blood lead levels by lead process, and consideration of the need to research and web-publish
educational materials for workers within high-risk lead processes within the jurisdiction.
The most recent recommendations regarding blood lead action levels for workers revolve around the
cumulative blood lead index which is measured in
μ
g-years/dL. A
μ
g year/dL in lead exposure is one
microgram of lead per decilitre of blood for a period of one year. The mini-monograph in the March
2007 Environmental Health Perspectives included the article "Adult Lead Exposure: Time for Change" by
Brian S. Schwartz and Howard Hu (see
http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.9782
) and
concludes (in part):
"The growing body of scientific evidence suggests that occupational standards should limit recent dose
to prevent the acute effects of lead and separately limit cumulative dose to prevent the chronic effects
of lead."
"For the prevention of the chronic health effects of cumulative dos
e, the available evidence suggests…
maintaining the cumulative blood lead index below approximately 200-400
μ
g-years/dL (equivalent to an
average blood lead level of 20
μ
g/dL for 10-20 years or of 10
μ
g/dL for 20-40 years)."
Thus, finally, a new clause needs to be added, as follows:
7.2.24 Limits to working-life exposure to lead
(1) Each time a laboratory report
s the blood lead level of a lead worker, the worker’s cumulative dose or
cumulative blood lead index must be calculated by the regulator.
(2) The worker should be notified when they have reached each 10% (ie at 10%, 20%, 30% etc) of the following
cumulative dose of lead:
(a) for females
and males
not of reproductive capacity:
400
μg
-years/dL (19.3
μmol
-years/L);
(b) for females
and males
of reproductive capacity:
200
μg
-years/dL (9.65
μmol
-years/L).
(3) Individuals who have reached their working-life exposure lead limit should be barred from further
work in lead processes and other lead risk work, and advised to give up any lead-exposure hobbies or
renovation activities.
Thanks for this opportunity to make a submission to protect workers
health and reproductive health.
Yours Sincerely
[Signed]
Elizabeth O’Brien
, Manager
Global Lead Advice & Support Service (GLASS)
run by The LEAD Group Incorporated
ABN 25 819 463 114
PO Box 161 Summer Hill NSW 2130 Australia
Ph +61 2 9716 0132 Freecall 1800 626 086
www.lead.org.au/